Happy flipping Pancake Day!

February 21, 2012

Wall prints for Pancake Day? Why not? I love yellow. I love lemons. I love Pancake Day and I love these prints brought to you from Etsy

Pancake day, etsy, prints, stationary, poster, lemon, yellow, cooking, graphics, retro, design, colour, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Pancake day, etsy, prints, stationary, poster, lemon, yellow, cooking, graphics, retro, design, colour, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Pancake day, etsy, prints, stationary, poster, lemon, yellow, cooking, graphics, retro, design, colour, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrysPancake day, etsy, prints, stationary, poster, lemon, yellow, cooking, graphics, retro, design, colour, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Pancake day, etsy, prints, stationary, poster, lemon, yellow, cooking, graphics, retro, design, colour, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

From the top: 1 & 3. Amanda Katherine Designs 2. Lajlaj – Small Cute Things 4. Freya Art 5. Eco Print. 

Hope you’re all stocked up on eggs, milk and flour. What’s your favourite topping? If you’re stuck for ideas why not try this buttermilk with lemon syrup pancake recipe as seen on Housetohome.  – Alice

Home for Christmas

December 29, 2011

Christmas has been a bit too much fun for homeshoppingspy! I’m looking forward to returning to regular blogging next week. Meanwhile, here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed from a Christmas in South Devon:

Blackpool sands, South Devon, coastal walk, coast, beach, Christmas, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

1. A blustery walk along the coast to Blackpool Sands for pasties and chips on the beach!

Winter bike Christmas card, Etsy, Christmas, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrtys

2. I received this lovely Winter bike Christmas card, available from Etsy.

Toast, Dee Puddy, Nigella Lawson, BBC Food, Christmas, Devon, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

(clockwise from left) 3. Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Cup cocktail as seen in Stylist. Cherry brandy, sparkling wine and ginger ale (tastes like liquid cherry drops – amazing and very festive!). 4. Chocolate mince pies. I made these for a Christmas party and they went down a storm, visit BBC Food for the recipe. 5. Pretty crackers from Toast to complete our table setting on Christmas day. 6. To add a little sparkle we used these charming nativity scene tea light decorations from Dee Puddy. I hope you all have a fun New Year’s Eve. I’ll see you on the other side. – Alice

HOT SHOP: Sparrow & Co

January 7, 2011

The Sparrow & Co shop hasn’t actually opened yet, but Samuel Sparrow of Glasgow has already been inundated with customer queries, so he’s had to set up a temporary Etsy store while his new website is completed. Just from the beautiful photography and the carefully-selected products, I know it’s going to be a good ‘un! Right up there with the likes of Toast, I predict…

Sam has gathered together a gorgeous collection of exclusive, handmade products from around the globe – from Morocco, Uzbekistan, Asia, Central America, Wales, England and, of course, Scotland. You’ll find woollen blankets, stools, leather pouffes, and pretty candles and notebooks featuring the illustrator Debbie Powell’s gorgeous designs. It’s going to be a real treat.

Sam studied Illustration and Visual Merchandising at the Glasgow School of Art, before working for Ikea and Habitat. He’s setting up Sparrow & Co on his own (although his stunning wife apparently helps out) and the full website is due to launch in a couple of months, so keep checking his blog.

Sam told me he has lots of new products on the way including hand-turned solid walnut candlesticks, quilts sewn from vintage sari fabric and patterned papier-mâché baubles. Clearly this is a man with impeccable taste; and his global-yet-harmonious and pared-down collection reflects it. Can’t wait to see more! – Ellie

Happy New Year!

January 4, 2011

So, 2011 is here. This is a little post-party shot I styled for our January issue – thank goodness for Wine Away

It’s always tricky to find stylish party banners, but I spotted this lovely HAPPY NEW YEAR one at BekahJennings Etsy shop – where you can find a whole host of elegant bannerage for any occasion. She’s based in the USA, but will ship abroad. Do you have any New Year decorating resolutions? My list is too long to bore you with…but it begins with our dining room! Bookworms, beware: a lovely new book has just landed on my desk. I’ll share it with you later today. – Ellie


August 16, 2010

They unlock doors. They come in all shapes and sizes. And despite your desperate attempts to organise the little blighters – (hooks, bowls, fobs – you’ve tried them all) – men lose them on a daily basis.

They spend hours searching wildly for them at the last minute, when you’re just about to leave the house, and you’re already twenty minutes late, and they always ALWAYS turn up in his jacket pocket, and what’s even more infuriating is that that’s where you said they would be in the first place, and that was before the damn hunt even began, and where the hell is his wallet now…ANYWAY, dear readers, KEYS are big news. Not the boring little Yale jobbies. More the pretty, swirly twirly vintage type. Regardez…wonderful wall stickers above from Ferm Living…and some lovely key designs below from our friends at Warbeck & Cox (tea towel, top mug, cushion and mirror) and Tesco (bottom mug):

If you’re lucky enough to have picked up a copy of our September issue, you’ll have seen our stylists used some vintage keys from RE in one of the shoots…they look so lovely lined up on a mantelpiece:

Luckily for you, I decided against attaching a sound file of Urban Cookie Collective’s 1990s hit ‘The Key, The Secret’ to this post…

Mmmm – loving this key-shaped key hook from Cavania, and this gorgeous little needlework kit from Magasin:

Etsy is awash with keys – on necklaces, key rings (!) and the like…

…but my favourite key buy there has to be the lovely key photograph prints from Yvette Inufio. Check out the rest of her photos too – so gorgeous. Of course, the trend-setters over at Anthropologie have been going key-crazy for months:

Oh, keys. Lovely keys. But sadly the only kind of keys I’ll be encountering today will be the keyboard kind as I tackle the 2000 emails that are waiting in my inbox. Yipeeee. – Ellie

Guest post at Etsy

July 9, 2010

I’m over at Etsy today, picking out coral buys for home and craft. It was so difficult to choose my favourite buys from such a fabulous range of vintage and handmade products. You can read the article here, if you’re in a coral-kinda-mood! – Ellie

Typewriters are cool. They’re so cool. They’re, like, really cool. Check out this print. Isn’t it cool? Does anybody mind if I over-use the word cool in this post? No? Cool.

keep calm and type onI think this is what we in the business refer to as a ‘Micro Trend’. The kind of trend that you KIND of think MIGHT be a trend, but then, when you come to find some trendy things that are part of the trend, you find, like, three things. Hence the term Micro. If it was a TREND trend – as in, horses, owls etc – there would be thousands of trendy trend-related designs fighting to be featured – indeed, we’d be auditioning all day and only a select few would make the final cut – the creme de la creme (alas still no accents, apologies) de la trend.

typewriterOf course, there’s always good old Etsy – which can, rain or shine, be relied upon to provide fantastic trend-tastic finds, even for the most obscure Micro Trend when you’re really scraping the trend dregs at the bottom of the murky, miserable trend barrel. I love the typewriter rubber stamp, the typewriter notebook, the typewriter rings, and indeed, erm, the typewriter.


American shop Three Potato Four has a lovely collection of vintage typewriters (the lovely but extortionate variety), which you could carry in a typewriter bag and, while you type, you could wear a typewriter T-shirt, while admiring a lovely typewriter print.

vintage-typewriter-keysWow – I think this might actually be promoted from Micro Trend status to TREND trend status, as there are, now I come to think of it, a few more typewriters around than I thought. Hmm, not that many though. Might just have to finish this post with a repeat of the image I opened with, but in a different colour. Cop out, I know, but times are hard. Just hope nobody notices. – Ellie

keep calm and type on

Are you a Tachonista?

August 19, 2009

I’ve just read in the papers that since the economy took a nose dive, facial hair has had a huge revival and is well and truly back in fashion – for men, obviously. (Not sure it’ll ever be a style statement for women!) From Brad Pitt’s trendy ‘door-knocker’ beard to Johnny Depp’s skinny ‘villain’ tache, every papp-able male celebrity worth his salt is sprouting stubble at the moment and September is now offically ‘TacheBack’ month in the UK, when blokes grow face fuzz to raise money for Cancer Research. The article went on to quote a psychotherapist who claims that facial hair is always popular during stressful times as men often ‘hide’ behind it when they’re anxious about job security blah blah blah, but by that point I had stopped reading because: firstly, I’m a girl, with no ability or desire to grow a goatee. And secondly, I wouldn’t have thought that this ‘Tachonista’ trend was one which could easily cross over from fashion to homes…but how wrong I was. Feast your eyes on this, lovely people. Now you too can enjoy facial hair in your home, regardless of your sex, with the fabulous Mr Moustache cushion, available on Etsy (where else!)


The interchangeable velcro taches are stored in a handy pocket on the reverse of the cushion when not in use, so you won’t misplace your moustache. Choose from ‘Trucker’, ‘Gentleman’, ‘Fu Manchu’, or ‘Salt ‘n’ Pepper’. Hours of fun for all the family. – Ellie 

We’re big fans of the Keep Calm and Carry On accessories here in the Ideal Home office (as you might have read in our previous blogs) and we’ve just been told about this spoof Keep Calm and Carry On calender from Etsy. Let us know if you’ve come across any other takes on the iconic slogan – we’d love to hear from you…


Make resolution and break immediately – check 

Bat lashes and pound chocolate – check 

Wear sandals and pretend it’s warm – (well it is sunny outside today!) – check

can’t wait for April… – Emily